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Government and Politics

Party affiliation likely to determine next Stark Co. Sheriff
Former sheriff candidate says politics shouldn't matter in law enforcement

Grant Engle
In The Region:

Stark County Democrats are faced with appointing a new county sheriff, and their leadership is expected to tow the party line.

Party leaders must appoint the sheriff because Mike McDonald, who was elected in November, declined the position because of poor health.

Hartville Police Chief Lawrence Dordea has run for sheriff twice in Stark County as a Republican, and he narrowly lost the 2012 election to McDonald. He says his party affiliation is the primary reason Democrats won’t consider him.

Lawrence Dordea talks about political affiliation in regard to policing

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“The sheriff should be about providing service to all citizens. I mean, at three o’clock in the morning when you call 911, you don’t care if it’s a Democrat or Republican that responds. You just want a high level of professional service to make you safe.”

The chairman of the Stark County Democrats, Randy Gonzalez, says the possibility of his group nominating Dordea is “highly unlikely.”

The committee is required to nominate candidates by mid-February. Gonzalez says he hasn’t yet made plans to hold the meeting.

In the meantime, long-time Stark County Sheriff Tim Swanson has agreed to hold the position until there’s a replacement.

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